Updated with analyst comments.
A brief comment on an earnings call from a large supplier of chips to Apple has given TheStreet's Jim Cramer reason to be optimistic about the tech giant, whose shares have fallen significantly since it issued its earnings report last week.
Greensboro, N.C.-based Qorvo (QRVO) - Get Report , which makes radio frequency chips, reported its fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday, showing its revenue had declined 26.8% year-over-year to $608.1 million. Qorvo's numbers weren't what stuck out to Cramer, though -- rather it was a single line from its conference call about Apple, one of Qorvo's largest customers.
"Here's the key line from the Qorvo conference call, Bob Bruggeworth, CEO [says about Apple] 'They've got some pretty good- selling products,'" said Cramer, TheStreet's founder and manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, which owns Apple. "Now no one thinks that Apple has anything really good selling this quarter. This is the [Apple iPhone] SE... I think it's selling very well in China."
Cramer noted that, based on other retailers' reports this quarter, the Chinese consumer market is humming, a potential boon for the iPhone SE, which is a smaller, cheaper version of the current iPhone 6.
"[The iPhone SE] does do well in China," Cody Acree, a Drexel Hamilton senior analyst covering Qorvo, said. "That's primarily because the majority of Chinese growth is coming from initial upgrades to 4G -- less affluent consumers who are more price sensitive."
Said Cramer: "When I've put Qorvo's comments together with some of the things Tim Cook told me, with Alibaba (BABA) - Get Report and the numbers being generated in China, with Nike (NKE) - Get Report , with Starbucks (SBUX) - Get Report , I am betting now that this... says 'do not expect the worst from Apple.'"
Alibaba reported strong revenues this quarter, while Nike and Starbucks have both had positive things to say about their results in China, lending support to Cramer's belief that "the Chinese consumer is alive and well."
"This Qorvo call makes me feel like, before you give up on Apple, read this," said Cramer. "Because what it says is maybe they've got some products selling better. This SE could surprise."
Apple and Qorvo did not immediately respond to requests for comment for this story.